- With one league win since September, Everton sacked Rafa Benitez following a defeat to Norwich at the weekend
- Former Toffees boss Roberto Martinez is the early betting favorite to succeed Benitez
- Who’s next for the Goodison Park hot seat?
The inevitable was confirmed this weekend when Everton fired Rafa Benitez after a woeful few months in charge. Benitez had led Everton to just one league win since September, and defeat to Norwich confirmed his fate.
Languishing just six points above the relegation zone and sporting longshot EPL odds, the Toffees are yet again on the look out for a new manager. Roberto Martinez is the early betting favorite to return to Goodison Park, while former players Duncan Ferguson and Wayne Rooney sit second and third in the odds.
Jose Mourinho is out at +3300 for a shock return to the Premier League, sharing the same price as another former Manchester United manager in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Next Everton Manager Odds
|Nuno Espirito Santo||+1400|
|Ole Gunnar Solskjaer||+3300|
|Erik ten Hag||+5000|
Odds as of Jan 17 at William Hill
Push for Martinez
Hiring Benitez was always a curious move. Not only is he a former Liverpool manager, Benitez is a strange decision to make following Carlo Ancelotti, and particularly for a club that held top six ambitions. The leap into the unknown with Benitez appeared to lead Everton to search for familiarity in Martinez, but Jason Burt of the Telegraph reported that a potential move is off.
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The Belgian FA weren’t going to let Martinez combine the roles — Martinez looks set to stay in charge of the Red Devils.
It's no surprise Roberto Martinez is unlikely to turn his back on Belgium for Everton.
He has built a lot with his national team even if they've fallen short at the final hurdle at the big international tournaments. https://t.co/fF1lQMfasK
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) January 17, 2022
Pursuing Martinez shows the Everton hierarchy remains unclear what they want from a manager. Benitez is a pragmatist where Martinez is more of a footballing idealist. Perhaps going after Martinez demonstrates a club looking for what it knows worked in the past (to a degree, at least), but given Everton’s decisions in previous years, it seems most like a club unsure of its direction.
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Everton have been aggressive — and ultimately reckless — in the transfer market in the Farhad Moshiri era. Their approach to hiring managers has been similar.
While Ancelotti was a coup for the club, the Benitez hire was that of an organization desperate to hire a ‘name’. Arguably, going after Martinez while he’s in charge of Belgium is a similar approach.
Despite Derby having a 21 point deduction, injury problems and a transfer embargo, they have moved off the bottom of the Championship table and are just 9 points from safety.
What an unbelievable job Wayne Rooney is doing 👏 pic.twitter.com/y9dlc7JVSR
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) January 16, 2022
After the PR disaster of hiring and firing Benitez, appointing a club favorite like Duncan Ferguson or Wayne Rooney would make a lot of sense for Moshiri. Rooney is doing a stellar job at Derby in nightmare circumstances, and could be the man to improve the club-fan relationship in the blue half of Liverpool.
On the other hand, the Toffees may once again pursue an established top-flight manager, someone who has proven their credentials in the top five leagues.
Lucien Favre is also on Everton’s manager shortlist.[@TheAthleticUK 🌕] pic.twitter.com/IIXBHDKjzA
— E V E R T O N. (@evertonhub) January 17, 2022
Lucien Favre would fit how Everton have recruited in recent years. Paulo Fonseca is an intriguing option given his attacking brand of football, and he’s clearly keen to manage in the Premier League after links with Tottenham, Aston Villa and Newcastle.
Everton Next Manager Best Bets
Everton are a difficult team to predict. Graham Potter is probably the best appointment they could make, but it seems an unlikely move. Rooney and Ferguson are the fan-pleasing options short-term, and of the two, Rooney is the better bet given his managerial experience with Derby.
🔵 | It is understood that Jose Mourinho has already turned down an approach to leave Roma. Ferguson would like to be considered. Wayne Rooney has his supporters among the hierarchy. Niko Kovac is a possible candidate.
📰 | Telegraph pic.twitter.com/acqnLR6B0Z
— The Everton End (@TheEvertonEnd) January 16, 2022
Of the longer odds options, plenty would not take the job, including Jose Mourinho, Unai Emery, Erik ten Hag, Marcelo Bielsa and Mauricio Pochettino.
Other alternatives are not going to excite the club or fanbase like Steve Bruce, Frank Lampard or Scott Parker.
This comes down to what Everton prioritize. It seems like they either go for Rooney or Ferguson or they once again go after a glamor name. Of such candidates, Favre and Fonseca represent the best value given their odds, though Niko Kovac and Ernesto Valverde could be worth a longshot wager.
Best bets: Wayne Rooney (+450), Lucien Favre (+2500)
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